Canberra Stadium is the primary venue for Rugby League and Rugby Union games in the Australian Capital Territory. The stadium is located in the suburb of Bruce, which is named after Stanley Bruce, Australia’s Prime Minister from 1923 to 1929.
Canberra Stadium was originally built in 1977 for the Pacific Conference Games. It was the venue for the 4th IAAF World Cup in Athletics in 1985, where the still-current world record for the women's 400m for women was recorded by East German Marita Koch.
The athletics track was eventually removed so that football could be played at the ground. In the 1990s the Canberra Raiders Rugby League team began playing their home games here. The first Australian Rules Football (AFL) match was played in 1995. During the 1990s the stadium also hosted an International Rules match, a combination of Gaelic football and Australian Rules Football played between Ireland and Australia.
Further renovations occurred in 1997 in preparation for staging soccer matches as part of the 2000 Sydney Olympic Games. The playing surface was converted from oval to rectangular, bringing the crowd closer to the action. The only downside of the change was that the stadium could no longer host AFL games, which are played on an oval ground.
Today, Canberra Stadium seats around 25,000 people with two main grandstands on either side of the playing field. The main grandstand is named after Canberra Raiders and Australian Rugby League player, Mal Meninga. A statue of another Canberra Raiders and Australian Rugby League champion, Laurie Daley, adorns the main grandstand entrance.
The other grandstand is named the Gregan-Larkham stand, after Australian Rugby Union champions George Gregan and Stephen Larkham, who both ended their international careers after the 2007 Rugby World Cup as the two of Australia’s most awarded players at that time.
Canberra Stadium is adjacent to the Australian Institute of Sport. Take a behind the scenes tour and you might catch some of Australia’s top athletes in training. Daily tours are guided by elite athletes, so you may learn some insider’s secrets about why Australia is a world leader in sport.
There’s plenty of family fun in the miniature world at Cockington Green Gardens, one of Canberra’s most charming attractions. Detailed miniature buildings set amongst the beautifully landscaped gardens feature more than 30 different countries. Don’t miss taking a ride on the popular miniature steam train.
Questacon - The National Science and Technology Centre will keep you occupied for hours with its spectacular science shows and more than 200 interactive exhibits and themed galleries.
Other major Canberra attractions include Parliament House; the National Museum of Australia; the National Gallery Of Australia and the Australian War Memorial.
Canberra Stadium is easily reached by public transport. Canberra’s compact layout also means that attractions are close to one another and taxis are an easy way to get around. A number of regular bus routes stop by Canberra Stadium. On days when major games are played, charter buses also operate which are free for ticket holders.